my 100 day project

For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I recently started a ‘100 day project.’ The idea behind the project is that you pick a creative activity (in my case I am creating patterns) and commit to doing it every day for 100 days. You can read more about it on the 100 day project website here.

I had heard about it some time ago and I really liked the idea, and I know from experience that I always create better work when I am in the flow of creating consistently. However I was always hesitant to start because the idea of designing every single day for 100 days was daunting, and I wasn’t sure if I would have the time. Recently I decided to just go for it and to commit to making the time. I have been struggling a bit with getting started with creating designs, with developing my style (I felt like I was stagnating a little creating similar things over and over, and generally worrying too much whether other people will like something/whether it is sellable instead of whether I like it), so I thought this would be a good way to get the creative juices flowing again.

So, how have I been finding it so far? The first little while I felt like my designs were all over the place and I struggled to get into a groove. All those months of not designing consistently meant I was definitely a little rusty! I know the goal of the project is just to keep going and not necessarily to have a perfect polished piece of work every day, but I still couldn’t help but compare myself to other artists/designers I follow on Instagram that seemed to produce something a-ma-zing every single day (designers love to compare themselves, it seems!). Lately I’ve been better at working in more of a consistent style. I want to use the 100 day project as a way to try new things and expand my existing style, but not necessarily completely change it.

Doing this has also made me realise that although I have come so far, I still have some learning and growing to do as a designer. I want to get to the point where I am able to consistently and confidently produce something good every day, even on days when I don't have very much time. I also want to start experimenting with more expressive lines and more intricate/layered patterns to add more variety to my repertoire.

Here are some of my top picks from the project so far, and you can see all previous and future designs by following along on my Instagram. I am really enjoying all the feedback and comments I’ve been getting from people, they are encouraging me to keep going so keep them coming! Maybe some of these will end up on future products or maybe they’ll just be nice additions to my pattern portfolio - either way, I am enjoying the process for now.

100 days of patterns design project

posted on 2019 / 06 / 17

welcome back to interiors by element

new-design-direction-interiors-by-element

Wow, it has been a long time since my last post! Truth be told, I needed a little break to figure out a direction for the future. Running a design business has probably been 100 times harder than I imagined when I first conceived of the idea for my brand all those years ago. Marketing, trade shows, samples etc. all cost loads of money that you don’t have when starting out, and getting your name out there is very difficult in a saturated market. However, although I have worn many different designer hats over the years, for me nothing can replace the joy and satisfaction of seeing a brand and style that is yours and yours alone come to life and be enjoyed by other people, and that is what ultimately drives me to keep going in some form or another no matter what.

I have learned a few things along the way which will shape the future direction of Interiors by Element:

  1. I love working with customers (and their interior designers) 1-1 to design their dream space, rather than just sending off orders and not having any idea where they ended up or what happened to them. For this reason, I plan to focus my business a lot more on bespoke orders in the near future. You can see previous projects I have worked on here.

  2. I love drawing and designing, not dealing with technical production and delivery issues. I’m going to put on hold any plans to break into new product categories for now, and focus instead on partnerships and commissions with other companies who are a lot better at dealing with that other stuff than me. You can find out more about how to commission me here.

  3. I am no longer offering wallpaper. I have found it to be a very saturated market, and despite this, bold, graphic feature walls are only being used very sparingly (or not at all) by most of my customers.

  4. I will still be offering my existing rug designs, and any new rug designs I create will be focused on round rugs and runners. These have had a great response and I feel like my customers are finding a lack of options in the market for these unusually shaped designs. During my hiatus I have worked on some new round rugs and runners which have already been added to the website.

Finally, I’d like to spend more time sharing the journey of building a small design business on social media. It is tempting to pretend that everything is awesome all the time (it can feel like it is for everyone else!), but I have learned that it is the real people behind independent businesses that truly make them special.

posted on 2019 / 05 / 28

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